With the world still reeling from the news of Adam Yauch’s death on Friday (May 4), MTV News took to the airwaves with the one-hour special “Adam Yauch: Remembering a Beastie Boy” to honor the life and impact of the influential artist, one of the founding members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted rap trio.
MTV’s own Sway Calloway began the tribute by reading celebrity reactions to Yauch’s death from artists including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Travis Barker, Weezer and Jack Black, all of whom expressed feelings of sadness and respect for the influential MC.
“Adam Yauch brought a lot of positivity into the world, and I think it’s obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others,” Em said in a statement to MTV News. “They are trailblazers and pioneers, and Adam will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Mike D., and Ad-Rock.”
The tribute then turned toward Yauch’s indelible impact on the music industry, beginning with a look at one of the Beastie Boys’ most famous and critically acclaimed music videos, “Sabotage,” directed by Spike Jonze, followed by the group’s festive performance of “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)” on MTV’s New Year’s Eve show in 1986. Other clips featured in the 60-minute special included their 1998 VMA performance of “Intergalactic,” the year the group took home the Video Vanguard award, as well as more of their iconic music videos, including “Hey Ladies.”
Sway touched on the evolution of Yauch’s spirituality throughout his career, which led to his founding of the Tibetan Freedom Concert, the first of which drew influential acts like the Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine. We dug through our archives to find the Beastie Boys’ performance of “Root Down” at the 1996 concert in San Francisco, followed by their star-studded, 2011 VMA-nominated music video “Make Some Noise,” which earned Yauch an award for Best Director. The tribute closed with a few more celeb tribute tweets and the Boys’ 2004 MTV Movie Awards performance of “Ch-Check It Out.”
Share your memories of Adam on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPMCA.